The Song of Mary Blane


Farm life in Virginia and “The Song of Mary Blane” (1867-1870)

Mary Blane

I once did know a pretty gal—

I took her as my life—

She came from Lusiana;

And I lik’d her as my wife.

We happy lib’d together

She nebber caused me pain,

But one dark and dreary night,

I lost poor Mary Blane.


Oh, Farewell, farewell,

Poor Mary Blane,

One faithful heart will think of you,

Farewell, farewell, poor Mary Blane,

If we ne’er meet again.

While in de woods I got at night,

A hunting for some game,

A nigger came into my old hut,

And stole my Mary Blane,

Long times gwan by it grieb’d me much,

To think no tidings came,

I hunt de woods both night and day

To find poor Mary Blane.


I often asked for Mary Blane,

My Massa he did scold,

And said you saucy nigger boy,

If you must know, she’s sold,

If dats de case she cannot live,

Throughout a weary life,

Oh let me die, and lay me by,

My poor heartbroken.



Negroidyll, 1870
Art Museum, Solothurn



Old Virginia around 1870
Private Collection